Comments on YouTube can be especially dark. Earlier this year, the platform turned off comments on videos of children after a disturbing amount of pedophilic comments were discovered, and there’s plenty of hate speech circulating, as well. Now, YouTube is testing a change that could relocate the comments on mobile apps. It would require users to willingly seek them out.
In YouTube’s current iOS and Android mobile apps, users have to scroll past the video, engagement buttons and recommended content to reach the comment section.
It’s unclear if YouTube’s motive is to hide comments. On one hand, by placing them on another page, the platform could spare people from having to look at them. On the other, because most users have to scroll quite a bit before they see comments on their mobile app, a button at the top of the page could actually provide easier access.
A YouTube spokesperson confirmed the Comments test, in a statement, but downplayed its importance by referring to it as one of many small experiments the company is running.
“We’re always experimenting with ways to help people more easily find, watch, share and interact with the videos that matter most to them,” the spokesperson told TechCrunch. “We are testing a few different options on how to display comments on the watch page. This is one of many small experiments we run all the time on YouTube, and we’ll consider rolling features out more broadly based on feedback on these experiments.”